Master's degree programs specific to the needs of broadcasting are plentiful, and online program options are growing in number. Students may earn a master's degree in journalism or mass communications through distance learning. Most programs offer enough online courses to complete a degree completely online, but some students may find that their specific interests require them to attend a few residencies throughout the program. Students may be able to concentrate in a field like writing or news media. General courses include reporting, mass communication theories, media technology and public relations writing. Online requirements include multimedia hardware and audio/video processing software.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Broadcast Journalism
- Print, Broadcast and Electronic Journalism
Master's Degree in Multimedia Communications
Media professionals in today's fast-moving marketplace need to be proficient in several aspects of production. A master's degree program in multimedia communications exposes the student to a variety of roles on both sides of the camera, inside the control booth and in the edit suite, as well as the business office.
News broadcasters need to know how to work with a wide variety of photo, audio and digital inputs. Technical staff must maintain electronic delivery systems for broadcast, cable and Internet news outlets. Station administration handles network liaison, advertising revenue, staffing and operating costs. In simpler media settings, a small crew of generalists share all of these functions.
Both working media professionals and recent college grads can gain an appreciation for the breadth of jobs and wealth of technologies involved in broadcasting. Specialties can include advertising, broadcasting, news-editorial and media marketing. Programs span 30-43 credit hours and may take 2-3 years to complete.
Online courses require relatively current computer hardware with multimedia capacities, a browser and a high-speed Internet connection. Video and audio processing software may be required, depending upon the courses taken. Some schools or professors may use specialized software that runs exclusively on either a Windows or Mac platform. Interested students should check with their school's distance learning department before investing in new hardware or software.
In general, the same faculty who teach an institution's face-to-face courses also teach the online courses. This ensures the same quality of instruction regardless of its mode of presentation.
In order to make the largest number of courses available online, some courses may be offered only in spring or fall semesters or every other year. Students should consult the class schedules when planning their degree programs.
The course covers basic techniques reporters use to conduct personal interviews and get information from newspapers, magazines, news releases and the Internet. Students learn tips for evaluating sources and understanding bias.
Students learn methods for preparing news stories and features for broadcast. The structures of news articles, the value of media support and the appropriate use of references are also discussed.
Government and the Media
Course topics apply the laws governing the press and free speech to broadcasting. Issues include censorship, obscenity, privacy and copyright laws.
Principles of Advertising
This course is an overview of advertising's role in journalism. Students apply principles of marketing, research, psychology, law and ethics to create advertising campaigns.
Career Outlook for Broadcast Journalists
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), prospective employment for reporters and correspondents was projected to decrease by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The growth of online news was one factor in the decline, as well as decreasing advertising revenue.
In 2015, the median annual salary was $65,530 for broadcast news analysts, $49,080 for camera operators, $36,360 for reporters and correspondents and $37,490 for broadcast technicians.
Online broadcasting master's programs are abundant, and professors who teach the face-to-face classes usually teach the online courses as well. In these courses, students will gain understanding of journalistic regulations, research, reporting structure and advertising.